Let's continue to go nuts with this Italian version of Walnut Soup. I found this recipe at about.com and it's credited to a Mr. Molinari Pradelli, which sounds pretty darn authentic to me.
1 1/3 pounds of walnuts
1 cup whole milk or cream
2 quarts beef broth
Slices of day old bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for browning the bread
Salt and pepper to taste
Shell the walnuts, blanch the nuts in salted water, drain them, and peel away the walnut skins.
Grind the walnuts in a mortar, or blend them (short bursts to keep from liquefying them), and combine them with the milk, to obtain a liquid cream. Bring the broth to a boil, and while it's heating toast the slices of bread in the butter. Stir the walnut cream into the broth, dust it with pepper to taste, and cook it for a few minutes, then serve it steaming hot with the sliced bread.
This soup is simple with few ingredients, but it is very rich and satisfying. It tastes like autumn to me and so this time - instead of Stangl - I am recommending that you serve it in a bowl from Franciscan's October pattern.
And what, exactly, is minestra? I consulted a resident of Italy to find out that " ...In Italy, the term 'minestre' means a mixture of chopped-up vegetables and beans and lentils, sold on the market stalls, and it is usually stewed for hours on end to produce a thick nourishing broth. Its quite rare to find this served in restaurants ... it seems to be more of a home-cooking thing, maybe because such simple fare is a little too reminiscent of the poverty which Italians only escaped from relatively recently."